Resources graphic designers use

black and white photo of mac book on a graphic designers desk

Resources graphic designerS use

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. Todays post is all about resources graphic designers use on a daily basis. I am a freelance graphic designer based in Cornwall, you can check out my portfolio site here. Some of these may be really obvious to some people but maybe not to others, so let’s begin.

1. Websites for graphic designers

Now surfing the internet is definitely one way to draw inspiration for ideas or to immersive yourself in the world of design.

Pinterest – an all great all rounder. You can find design work easily by using the search bar, following inspirational designers or studios and you can also create your own boards to get certain styles going. I will leave my Pinterest here which has a lot of design boards, you can also have a look through who I’m following to see if anyone tickles your fancy.

BP&O – Is a great place to find latest branding, packaging and logo design.

It’s Nice That – A site that champions all types of creativity.

D&AD – The global association for creative advertising and design awards.

Behance – A place that students and studios a like can post projects that maybe spark an idea. I will leave my one here.

Instagram – Is definitely a place I forget to check but can be really helpful. You can follow design pages on basically anything, certain hashtags or it is especially helpful for sourcing illustrators and other creatives for a project. I’ll leave my design one here.

Studios – any design studio who’s work you admire is also a good place to look for when you’re feeling stuck.

2. Books for graphic designers

Going back to old fashioned books is also a great resource. By flicking through books you sometimes stumble upon stuff your were not initially looking for but you can still take inspiration from. Below is a list of the books I have purchased.

A Smile in the Mind* – A collection of work that is clever, witty and simple, it give you ‘a smile in the mind’.

Type and Typography– A great book to help you learn the rules of typography.

I do have many more however, I’m not sure if I would recommend them unless you are interested in the history of design or have a specific interest, for example I love Noma Bar’s work so I bought Bittersweet*. 

Going to your local library or book store is the best place to get a judgement on whether a book is going to be worth your money. 

Certain print books like Fredrigoni and G.F Smith are also important to have, as well as Pantone* booklets if you are sending something off to print. But if you’re in a studio they most probably already have them.

3. Learning Platforms for graphic designers

Platforms online can also be a great way to gain more knowledge in your field as well as pick up more skills.

Skillshare – I recently signed up to a free two month trial on skillshare and it’s been a really valuable source. They have many creative classes with design experts such as Jessica Hische and Paula Scher teaching them, as well as classes in just about anything.

Lynda – was a source we were given at uni however, it is not a resource I used often and I think you have to pay for it if you don’t have an uni email address. So maybe give it a bit of research before signing up.

YouTube – and of course YouTube is one of the most obvious resources but, if you’re stuck on trying to do something specific you can almost always find a tutorial on how to do it for free.

4. Getting Outside

And of course you can draw out information and inspiration from anywhere. I find sometimes if I am really stuck, going out for a walk or preoccupying my mind with another activity allows my subconscious mind to tick away. That’s when you have one of those ‘aha’ moments in the shower or while you’re trying to fall asleep!

It’s also great to visit as many museums and exhibitions as you can. Some of my favourites are: The Design MuseumThe Museum of brands and of course the Tate.

musuem of brand entrance in london


Hopefully this gave you some new resources you might have never heard of before, I’m sure I have probably missed out some. If you have any others that you think I should know about then please do let me know. I do have more websites on sourcing illustrators however, maybe that can be saved for another day.


I hope you enjoyed this blog pot on resources graphic designers use. Other useful posts about the design industry you ay enjoy are: How to get graphic design internshipsWhat it is like being a graphic design internAbsolute graphic design internship experienceD&AD New Blood festival and Top tips for graduation.

Lots of love, Melissa x 

Products mentioned with an * next to them mean they are an affiliate link. By clicking on this link it does not mean the product costs you anymore as a consumer but, gives me a small amount of commission.


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